Pizza Frittata

The Bachelor is one of my guiltiest pleasures. I literally cringe every time I admit to watching it, but I can’t help being sucked in. My mom and sister watch it, too, and for a long time we would have weekly phone conversations about what was happening in the show, dissecting every interaction and making predictions about what would happen. My parents recently moved to the desert also, though, so now we get to watch The Bachelor together, in real time!

Last Monday night, I had my parents over so we could watch the show, and I made this cauliflower crust pizza for us to eat as we watched. It turned out even better than I expected. I mean, I could actually pick up my pizza. It has been a long time since I’ve had pizza that was both good for me and pick-up-able. Chris is picky about his pizza, so I got him a flatbread instead for his crust, but he thought the cauliflower pizza was as good as his flatbread pizza. You better believe I’m going to make this again, and make extra to freeze for the next time we need a really quick meal.

After Monday’s meal, I had a bunch of leftover ingredients that were already cut up, but I was out of cauliflower. I experimented a little and came up with an insanely easy dinner that used up all my leftovers. More than a recipe to follow step-by-step, this is an idea you can use on those “OMG I am so exhausted and we have nothing in the fridge” days. You can easily adapt it to what you like and what you have on hand, or to keep scraps of this and that in the fridge from going to waste. This can be a quick one-dish meal, or it would be great alongside a green salad or veggies. It’s even fast enough that you could make it in the morning, and feel good about eating pizza for breakfast!

Here are my ingredients. You can see this is not an exact science, people. Literally just a bunch of random leftovers.P1000986

Saute the sausage and veggies.P1000987

Going into the oven, and coming out.

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And the finished melty, saucy product. Like a deep-dish pizza with egg instead of a crust.P1000990P1000993

Pizza Frittata Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons cashew milk, or other “milk” of choice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
  • roughly 3 cups chopped veggies of choice (I used green bell pepper, purple onion, and cremini mushrooms)
  • 1/3 cup pre-cooked sausage*
  • 7 pepperoni slices*
  • 1/4 cup prepared pizza sauce*
  • handful of shredded cheese (I used a blend of mozzarella, parmesan, and fontina)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Pizza Frittata Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron, or other oven-safe, skillet over medium-high heat
  • Add chopped veggies and sausage to hot oil and saute about 3-5 minutes, until veggies are soft
  • Meanwhile, beat together eggs, milk, and nutritional yeast. Season mixture with salt and pepper, just as if you were making scrambled eggs.
  • Transfer the hot, cooked veggies to the egg mixture and whisk together. Then add the other 1 tablespoon olive oil to the hot pan and swirl to coat.
  • Pour the egg and veggie mixture back into the prepared pan and top with slices of pepperoni. Transfer to the oven for 15 minutes, until the eggs are set.
  • Remove the frittata from the oven and spread the prepared pizza sauce evenly over the eggs. Top with shredded cheese. Return to oven until the cheese is melted, about 3-4 minutes. Slice and serve!

*Check ingredients to make sure these are SCD compliant. You might have to shop around for brands that comply, but they are out there! I use Aidell’s chicken and apple sausage from Costco (it does list a rather vague “spices” on the ingredients, but I say it’s close enough). I can find nitrate-free, uncured pepperoni and pizza sauce that list only SCD-compliant ingredients at Sprout’s, and I feel comfortable using these, but of course if you feel otherwise you can omit, use homemade pizza sauce, or simply add fresh tomato with spices from your own pantry and olive oil to the top instead.

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Christmas Treats and an Update

My husband is a web developing genius, so he moved my site here. He also suggested maybe it’s time to give an update on how I’m doing.

I’ve had kind of a rough six weeks or so. I mentioned in a previous post that back in August or September my GI doc had been very impressed overall with my progress, but wanted me back on antibiotics briefly before removing my final drain. When I went to my follow-up appointment (when my last drain was supposed to be removed) and reported that I still felt some swelling and occasional fever, he ordered an MRI. The results were a little disappointing. No new abscesses or fistula tracts were found (which is the good news), but the bad news was that the main fistula tract was still pretty giant. So, I had another surgery (#6!) and this time my surgeon opened the fistula all the way so that it could drain and hopefully close up with healthy tissue.

When I went into this last surgery, I thought it would be like my previous ones–three or four days down and then a slow return to normal. But the incision was much bigger than any of my previous ones. Poor Chris (who might as well be a nurse in addition to a web developer by now) had to pack the incision with clean gauze several times a day for a few weeks. It was not fun for either of us. After two weeks I was still very uncomfortable and unable to move around too much. Now it’s been almost three weeks and I’m finally starting to feel well enough (and painkiller free enough!) to get out of the house a little.

I’m going to start a new medication to see if it gives me better results and gets that last bit of healing under way. I also started some new supplements–a probiotic, vitamin D, and folic acid–at the suggestion of another doctor after she ran some blood tests and found that I was extremely deficient in some vitamins, in spite of all that I do to eat a really nutrient-dense diet that should provide plenty of these and other vitamins. Needless to say, all this news was not what I had been hoping for. But, my surgeon and GI doc both said that we are still moving in the right direction, just maybe not as quickly as we might hope. So I’m doing my best to focus on that.

Anyway, this has given me a good excuse to watch Every. Single. Christmas. Movie. Ever. I’ve also gotten to spend lots of time admiring our tree and cuddling our greyhound. And finally this weekend I felt well enough to do a little Christmas baking! This way I can bring my own desserts to share to Christmas festivities and that might help me keep my paws out of all the goodies I shouldn’t be eating right now. I thought I would share a couple of recipes so that you can treat yourself or a loved one with dietary restrictions as well.

The orange ginger spice cookies are fragrant, soft, and chewy, even after they cool down. The peanut butter cups are rich–just as they should be. Also pictured are the thumbprint cookies from Danielle Walker’s ebook Joyful, which you can get as a Kindle version for only $1.99. I made them just as instructed and they are both pretty and tasty! The ginger cookies and thumbprint cookies are both paleo and SCD legal. The peanut butter cups are all around a little illegal. But all three are grain-free (and by default gluten-free) as well as free of refined sugars. The peanut butter cups are egg free and dairy free. Both the peanut butter cups and the ginger cookies can be made nut-free if you substitute sunflower seed butter for the nut butters.

Here is the process for assembling the peanut butter cups: a little chocolate, a little peanut butter, a little more chocolate!

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Here is the finished product. Yummmm.

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Santa could appreciate this plate, even if he has IBD or has gone paleo since last year!

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Orange Ginger Spice Cookies Ingredients (yield 1.5 dozen)

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup plain, smooth almond butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest

Orange Ginger Spice Cookies Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine butter, almond butter, honey, egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest in a large bowl. Use a hand or stand mixer and mix until smooth.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Drop batter by spoonfuls onto parchment paper. Bake 12-14 minutes. Cool on cooling rack.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups Ingredients* (yield 10-12 cups, depending on chocolate to pb ratio)

  • 4 ounces 100% cacao chocolate (unsweetened; the only ingredient listed should be cacao)
  • 1/3 cup organic, smooth peanut butter (the only ingredient listed should be peanuts)
  • 1/8 cup coconut flour
  • 6 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 3 teaspoons palm or coconut oil
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus a dash more

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups Method

  • First make the peanut butter filling. Combine the peanut butter, 2 tablespoons honey, coconut flour, and sea salt. Use a hand mixer to stir until well combined. Divide into 10-12 balls by rolling between your palms, and then flatten a little into discs.
  • To make the chocolate, combine chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl. Set on top of a saucepan with about 1 inch of simmering water in it. Stir until melted.
  • Remove from heat and add in remaining 4 tablespoons honey and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
  • Spoon a little chocolate in the bottom of a silicone cupcake liner and swirl to coat the bottom and up the sides just a bit. Then drop in one disc of peanut butter. Top with more chocolate to cover and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Refrigerate several hours, until set. Gently peel off the silicone liner. Store in the fridge.

*The cocoa makes these not 100% SCD legal but in my estimation these are still much better than most standard treats. To make them paleo compliant, just switch out the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter or your favorite nut butter.

Homemade Ginger Ale

You know how on airplanes, everyone around you orders ginger ale to drink? I know that people aren’t drinking that much ginger ale in their day-to-day life on the ground. But ginger ale is such a popular airplane drink because ginger is famous for settling upset tummies, and between the stress of getting to the airport on time, the greasy airport food, and the actual bumps in the air, flying can leave many people feeling a little off.

Ginger ale has always been one of my favorites–usually a treat reserved for traveling and the kid’s table at family holidays. As I mentioned previously, though, my husband recently got me a juicer and I decided to experiment with a homemade version. It’s really simple to make and it tastes like a spicier, more refreshing version of the real thing. Plus it’s full of real ginger–so much of it, that I can literally feel my tummy tingling (in a good way!) when I drink it sometimes. Try the recipe as is the first time, and then you can adjust to your taste. Use more ginger for more spice, more lime for a tarter drink, or more honey if you like it sweeter.

For reference, this is the piece of ginger I used.

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You’ll end up with a super-concentrated syrup that looks like this.

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And this is the final product. So refreshing!

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Homemade Ginger Ale Ingredients

  • 1 big piece of ginger. No need to be exact here; just choose the largest, freshest piece of ginger root you can find in your grocery store. That’s probably the right one for this project.
  • 1 large lime
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • sparkling water

Homemade Ginger Ale Method

  • Wash and roughly chop the lime, ginger, and apple so it will fit in the feeder tube of your juicer
  • Juice the lime, ginger, and apple according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • Pour the fresh juice into a small saucepan and add honey. Bring to a roiling boil and let boil for 2-3 minutes. Pour into a jar.
  • Stir syrup into sparkling water. Start with about 4 teaspoons of syrup per cup of sparkling water; add more until it is the right strength for your taste. Save the remaining syrup in the refrigerator and enjoy within a few days.

Sonoran Shrimp Cocktail

My husband and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary!

We had agreed not to do gifts, and to spend money instead on a great night out or a little trip, but the husband happened to see a juicer while he was out shopping and, knowing how much I’ve been wanting one, he couldn’t resist getting it for me. To be fair I also broke my end of the deal, but I got him something much less extravagant.

Having a juicer has made my life so much easier. I can make almond milk without having to strain by hand. I have been making syrups with fresh ginger and citrus that I boil on the stove with honey and then mix in with sparkling water for a healthier alternative to soda–kind of like a homemade ginger ale. And most importantly, having a juicer helps me make sure I’m getting enough veggies because, while I can’t large amounts of most eat raw veggies–especially greens–I can juice a huge amount and drink them just fine! I replace a meal or two each week with veggie juice–like a big salad in a cup–and sometimes make green juice to use in my morning smoothies, which helps to cut down on (naturally-occurring) sugars and boost nutrient content.

Chris loves tomato juice and a couple of weeks ago he asked me to make him something like a homemade V8 for a weekend lunch. I’m usually not a fan, but I tasted it and was surprised by how much I liked it. As we were sipping on it, the same thought occurred to both of us: SHRIMP COCKTAIL. 

This is my second variation on the Sonoran shrimp cocktail. As I explain in the first post, this is one of my husband’s favorite, but most recipes call for lots of processed foods including Clamato juice, ketchup, and even orange soda. This version replaces all that with a homemade, fresh-pressed juice made from tons of veggies. Chris claims that he likes it even more than the traditional stuff, and whether you have special dietary restrictions or not, this version is definitely much healthier!

Sonoran shrimp cocktail is usually more of a summer food since it is served at room temperature or chilled, but maybe you need a break from all the heavy holiday food. Rumor has it shrimp cocktails are also a miracle cure for hangovers–not that anyone would need to worry about that during the holiday season, of course. I think this could even be served up in small glasses as an alternative to the classic shrimp cocktail appetizer. Also, I’ve listed approximate amounts of everything below, but you know, feel free to mix it up if you like your juice more or less spicy, for example.

I mean, this is just what goes into the juice. This dish should be able to revive the dead, not just the hungover.P1000896__1416170084_61672__1416170084_63047

These are the veggies that should get chopped up to be eaten instead of drunk.P1000904__1416170000_56295__1416170000_14550

Chopped veggies waiting for a delicious juice bath.P1000905__1416170243_66839__1416170243_87530

Looking at this picture makes me want to be on the beach. With one of these to munch on.P1000909__1416170275_58108__1416170275_27179

Sonoran Shrimp Cocktail Ingredients

Juice Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium sized tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange), stemmed and seeded
  • 2 peeled oranges
  • 4-5 stalks celery, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 2-3 handfuls baby spinach (I know, my measurements are super precise here)
  • 15-20 small chives (about the equivalent to 1/4 cup roughly chopped)
  • the stems from a bunch of cilantro
  • 1-2 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 beet, chopped in half
  • the juice of two limes
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos*
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce of choice (we like Cholula!)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

*I always thought coconut aminos were SCD legal. I’ve recently found out this is controversial in the SCD community, but most people report no ill effects of including them in their diet. If you feel uncomfortable adding coconut aminos, simply omit and add sea salt to taste as a replacement.

Other Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
  • the tops of a bunch of cilantro, finely diced
  • 2 avocados, peeled and diced

Sonoran Shrimp Cocktail Method

  • First prepare your juice. Wash all of your veggies really well. Juice all of the vegetables and fruits, except for the lime, listed in the juice ingredients according to your juicer’s instructions.
    • Pour the juice into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and let boil about 5 minutes, until it has reduced slightly. Remove from heat. NOTE: If you are going to eat all of your cocktail immediately, you can probably skip this step. However, for food safety reasons, any fresh pressed juices should be pasteurized or boiled if you do not expect to consume them in less than 24 hours.
    • Stir in the coconut aminos, hot sauce, fish sauce, and sea salt. Taste and adjust seasoning. Then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the shrimp. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then grill over medium heat until pink and curled.
    • When the shrimp are cool enough to handle, remove tails and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set in refrigerator to chill.
  • Finally, prepare the rest of your ingredients. Combine the cucumbers, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro in a large bowl. NOTE: I use the food processor to chop these ingredients quickly, finely, and uniformly. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Add in the juice to the large bowl and stir to combine. Serve in bowls topped with shrimp and avocado, with extra lime and hot sauce on the side.

Apple Spice Probiotic Smoothie

I haven’t blogged in a while primarily because I recently got both of Danielle Walker’s fabulous cookbooks and I’ve been cooking everything in them. I’ve been eating lots of good food, but none of it has really been original. If you are paleo or SCD, I can’t recommend her cookbooks enough. Her recipes have never failed us!

However, all of our feasting came to an abrupt halt when my GI doctor put me on a round of hefty antibiotics because he was worried I was forming a new abscess. While he was encouraged by my progress over all, ramping up medication always feels like a bit of a failure on my part. It’s easy for me to start thinking, “did this happen because I let myself get too stressed,” or, “if I hadn’t eaten out that one time a couple weeks ago, would I be feeling better today?” I’ve been learning about meditation and mindfulness, because it is one of the things that people with chronic illness report as being most helpful to them, and I’ve been reading about just how self-destructive these kinds of thoughts are. It is better to react to setbacks with self-compassion and equanimity since we can never know for sure if there was anything we could have done to alter the outcome, and allowing negative and stressful thoughts to control us only further exacerbates both physical symptoms and mental suffering. So I’ve been working on that during this round of treatment.

Anyway, the antibiotics make me so nauseous I can’t even stand to look at most food–much less cook it and eat it. Plus, my GI doc stressed the importance of probiotics while I was on the antibiotics, so I started drinking most of my meals instead. I’ve been making all kinds of smoothies, often times with some hidden veggies or a raw pasteurized egg blended in so it makes a better meal replacement, but the following recipe is my absolute favorite–light and easy on the tummy, and it even helps those of us who are still dealing with summer weather get into the fall spirit. It tastes way better than a pumpkin spice latte when the AC is still running!

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Apple Spice Probiotic Smoothie Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup SCD legal yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
  • about 8 ice cubes
  • 1 cup frozen banana chunks
  • 1 tablespoon plain almond butter (optional; it makes the smoothie richer and adds some good fats and a little protein)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Apple Spice Probiotic Smoothie Ingredients

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend! If it’s too thin, add a few more chunks of banana or ice cubes. If it’s too thick, add apple juice until it blends easily. This makes one large meal-sized serving, or two generous snack-sized portions.

 

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Honey Lime Cumin Vinaigrette

The blog posts have been slowing down. In part that’s because WE FINALLY GOT A GRILL! I know, I know, we’re like the last adult human beings on earth to acquire a grill.

Here is a very blurry picture of my handsome husband grilling. This is why you should use real cameras, folks, instead of your smudged phone camera.

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So, since we are newbies when it comes to grilling, we have spent the last few weeks grilling a lot, but most of the stuff we have made has either been too simple to warrant a post, or has been pretty much an exact replica of somebody else’s recipe. Also, I’ve been working my usual research job, teaching, and returning to yoga (which is a really big deal since I’ve basically lived on the couch for the last year!) so I’ve been a little busier than usual. I’ll post some recipe reviews of our more successful grilling sessions later (including a post about those kebabs in the picture above), but today I will post my very first grill-involved personal invention.

I’m really excited about this recipe, you guys. For one thing, it doesn’t require me to cook anything at all inside. That’s a big deal in the desert in the summer, when the last thing you want to do is turn on an oven inside the precious cool oasis of your house. Secondly, it involves crunchy, fresh raw veggies that I actually seem to tolerate really well! And, of course, it tastes so good. The salad dressing is really light and just adds a hint of tangy-sweet flavor to the salad without overpowering the taste of the veggies.

The inspiration for this dish was one of my husband’s summer favorites: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mexican-shrimp-cocktail/. It’s really good, but I mean, every variation of the recipe includes stuff like clamato juice (hello, MSG and HFCS), ketchup, and even orange soda, so I wanted to find something that would be just as refreshing and flavorful but a little better for us.

Here are the basics. Not everything would fit on the cutting board, but you get the idea, right?p1000726

The shrimpies get a quick toss in the marinade/salad dressing. p1000728

Then you chop up all the veggies.p1000729

Finish off your salad dressing.p1000730

Toss it with the veggies. p1000731

And serve. Yum. It looks like a tropical vacation on a plate!p1000732

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Honey Lime Cumin Vinaigrette Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and deveined, tail on or off (your preference)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 oz. cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, diced*
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and very finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (about 3/4 cup)
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (or other light-tasting oil)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming seasoning mix (optional)

*If you are planning on eating the whole salad right away, mix the avocados in with the rest of the veggies. Otherwise, chop up one just before eating and serve separately.

Method

  • First mix up your marinade/salad dressing by combining the lime juice, avocado oil, honey, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper. Reserve half and set aside for later. Pour the other half over your shrimp.
  • If you are using the Arizona Dreaming seasoning, sprinkle generously over the shrimp (as in the picture) and toss the shrimp with the seasoning and marinade to coat. If you are skipping the seasoning, you may want to sprinkle a little paprika and cayenne on the shrimp for a bit of color and heat.
  • Send your sweet husband outside with the shrimp. Grill over medium heat until curled, white, and opaque throughout.
  • Meanwhile, toss all the chopped veggies except for the cilantro together in a bowl. I chop my veggies in the food processor so they are more uniform.
  • Place the reserved dressing in a food processor and add the cilantro. Pulse until the cilantro is finely chopped. Toss salad dressing with veggies. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • That’s it. Serve with grilled shrimp and fresh fruit, if desired.

Salmon Fillets and Hazelnuts in Lemon Dill Mayonnaise

Confession: I got the inspiration for this recipe on the back of a package of frozen wild-caught salmon fillets from Costco. I ended up changing it pretty substantially (the original called for fat-free mayonnaise!?) but I think it turned out pretty delish. It also looks kind of fancy. This was so simple to make–it was only about 10 minutes of active time in the kitchen for both the fish and the veggies–but it was tasty and pretty enough that I would not hesitate to serve it to guests.

Cooking fish in mayo sounds kind of weird, but it yields a really moist and flavorful dish. Seriously. Try it.

Snuggle your salmon fillets into a parchment-paper lined roasting pan. These look kind of frozen but really they were pretty much thawed.p1000649

Pour over the mayo and then sprinkle the hazelnuts and lemon zest on top.p1000650

The end! Serve on top of veggies of choice.p1000651p1000652

Salmon Fillets and Hazelnuts in Lemon Dill Mayonnaise Ingredients (Serves 2-4, depending on serving of salmon)

  • 2 fresh salmon fillets
  • 1/3 cup raw chopped hazelnuts
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup avocado oil (or other light-tasting oil like grapeseed, coconut, or non-virgin olive oil or some combination of the above)
  • 1 egg*
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place salmon fillets in casserole dish lined with parchment paper.
  • Add egg, dijon mustard, and lemon juice to food processor. Process until combined. Pour in the 1 cup oil, drop by drop, until the mixture emulsifies.
  • Add dill, salt, and pepper to food processor and pulse several times, until combined.
  • Pour half the mayonnaise over the salmon fillets. Top with hazelnuts and lemon zest. Bake about 30 minutes, until thermometer reads at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Save the other half of the mayo for whatever you like later in the week–it would be great mixed with some canned tuna, onions, and hard-boiled eggs for a quick tuna salad.
  • Serve salmon over veggies of choice (pictured here with roasted asparagus tossed with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper). If you like, you can spoon a bit of the baked mayo juices over the veggies for even more flavor.

*Again, exercise caution when using raw eggs. I use these and recommend them to anyone serving young kids, pregnant women, the elderly, or people who may have a compromised immune system. Or, look into pasteurizing your own eggs at home. In this dish it’s not a big deal because the eggs in the mayonnaise will get cooked, but if you plan on serving the leftover mayo raw please be careful. There are a lot of sources arguing that raw eggs (especially from pastured chickens) represent only a very tiny risk salmonella risk, but it’s a risk I’d rather not take since I can so easily avoid it.

Quick Salmon Cakes

I don’t talk to that many people about my diet in real life, because let’s face it, people that go on and on about their dietary restrictions can be boring. But, when I do find someone who is interested and I explain what I should and should not eat, the reaction I usually get is something along the lines of, well…what do you eat?? This question is usually followed with isn’t that expensive? and how do you find the time!? 

I am so grateful that, prior to being diagnosed with Crohn’s, my husband and I had experimented with the Paleo diet and the even more restrictive Whole30. We had done that to lose weight (ha…ha…becoming less and less of a problem every day…!) and it worked well for us. It also forced me to learn how to cook meats (I was previously mostly vegetarian), how to make a lot of new things from scratch, and how to get creative with substitutions. These diets prepared both our palates and skill sets for SCD. The biggest problem I had with Whole30 cooking–and with the SCD–is the amount of time required to prepare for and make meals. It can also be expensive.

I will write more in response to the usual questions in another entry, but one big way we have coped with the challenges posed by preparing SCD legal meals is by becoming super organized about our shopping and meal planning. I can tell you, always, exactly what meals we are going to have between now and my next planned grocery shopping trip. I think ahead by a couple of days so I know if I need to get started on a new batch of almond milk or bone broth. I always make enough of everything so that we have leftovers to take for lunch. We make breakfast for dinner a lot. And I have an arsenal of a few tried and true recipes that are very quick to make in a pinch, and that rely on ingredients that are inexpensive, healthy, and that I will always have on hand–the kind of recipes you can talk yourself into making even when you are getting home late and exhausted and running low on groceries. This is one of those recipes.

Here are all the ingredients you will need.P1000504

Start by finely dicing the onion and cooking in butter over low heat until soft. Let cool slightly. Then place in a bowl and add in all other ingredients. Mix well.P1000505

Use your hands to press the mixture into 6-8 patties. You may notice that the canned salmon has some tiny bones and skin in it. I try to pick out the bones but most cans say that they are edible, and in fact, they do seem soft enough that you won’t notice them once the salmon is cooked. Kind of freaky but…eh…just try not to think about it.P1000508

Heat up cooking oil in pan to medium heat and gently slide in patties. Cook fora few minutes on each side, until golden brown.P1000509

Serve with roasted vegetables (I served with my Mediterranean Roasted Veggies) or salad greens. I had some leftover Everyday Paleo Garlic Basil Mayo so I added a dollop of that to the eat with the patties and veggies. Tzatziki would also be nice. P1000510

Easy peasy!

Quick Salmon Cakes Ingredients

  • 1 14.75 ounce can wild-caught salmon (it should only list fish, water, and possibly sea salt as ingredients. Whole Foods’ 365 store brand works well), drained and flaked
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour or almond meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Method

  • Heat butter over low heat and add diced onions. Cook on low heat until soft. Let cool slightly.
  • Combine onions with all other ingredients except for cooking oil into bowl. Mix well with hands and shape into 6-8 patties. Try to squeeze out extra moisture as much as possible.
  • Heat cooking oil over medium heat and slide patties into pan. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  • Serve with roasted veggies (pictured here are my Mediterranean Roasted Veggies) or salad greens, and your favorite creamy salad dressing or dip if desired.

Smoked Salmon Pizza on Herbed Flatbread Crust

You may have noticed that blanched almond flour has changed my life. You can put that stuff in a food processor with a little butter and a little liquid, maybe an egg, spices or herbs or honey or whatever you like, and you have a pie crust or a pizza crust or a pot pie topping or whatever floats your boat in no time.

How did I not know about almond flour before??

There was a time when Chris and I would order pizza like once a week, and spend all day having a Lost marathon. Those days are over, for a lot of reasons, one of which is that we killed Lost (sigh). But, we still end up having some variation of “pizza” almost every week. Now our pizza is usually grain-free and homemade, but it still seems like a treat every time. Plus, we have complete control over the ingredients and can come up with all kinds of new variations. Usually we use some kind of pesto or traditional red sauce, veggies, and meat, but this week I had some smoked salmon that we needed to use (long story involving a recipe that I thought sounded good but Chris vetoed…) so we got creative with our pizza night. The result was an herby cream cheese and lox inspired dinner!

Start by combining all crust ingredients in a food processor.p1000575

This is what the processed dough will look like.p1000576

Shape into a ball and sandwich between two sheets of parchment paper.p1000577

Shape into a flat roundish disc that will fit on a cookie sheet or pizza stone.p1000578

While that’s baking a bit prepare your toppings.p1000579

This is what the crust will look like coming out of the oven the first time.p1000580

Top with cheese mixture, salmon, capers, and chives, and place parchment paper directly on wire rack in oven.p1000581

It’s done when the edges of the crust are browning.p1000582

Gently slice and serve.p1000586

Crust Ingredients (Serves 4) *

  • 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Topping Ingredients

  • 6-8 ounces smoked salmon, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (any white cheese that melts well will do; I used a combination of raw white cheddar and swiss)
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 1/2 cup plain strained yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, choppped

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine all crust ingredients win a food processor fitted with the dough blade and process until a dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Top with another piece of parchment paper. Using your hands and a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is very thin–no thicker than 1/4 inch. Gently peel off the top sheet of parchment paper and place on pizza stone or cookie sheet.
  • Bake crust for 12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your toppings. Mix yogurt, cheese, garlic, and dill together.
  • When crust is done, remove and turn up over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Drop yogurt mixture on crust in little dollops. Spread very gently. The crust is very fragile and if you try to plop the whole mixture in the middle and spread it over the whole crust you will destroy it. Trust me, it happened to me.
  • Add smoked salmon, capers, and chives.
  • Slide the crust back into the oven on only the sheet of parchment paper. That is, the parchment paper should be sitting directly on the oven rack with the pizza on top.
  • Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until edges of crust are beginning to brown. Slice and serve!

*Note: I think this crust is really nice–it is flaky and flavorful, but it is not really sturdy enough to pick up and eat like traditional pizza. Treat it gently and plan on eating with a fork, and don’t fret if it crumbles a little here and there–it will still taste good!

One Dish Italian Baked Eggs

Chris and I are in the middle of having pretty much our whole house painted and recarpeted. We are very excited to finally be able to make this happen, because our house (which had previously been through 2 foreclosures) needed some serious TLC.

This means that we have been banished from most of the house, though. While we can get into the kitchen, there are little piles of things sitting everywhere. There are pictures from the entryway walls on the island, painters’ toolboxes on the breakfast table chairs, and couches cuddling the dining room table. Since we’ve had to have the doors and windows open to air out paint fumes, our kitchen has also become a fly’s paradise. As you can imagine, this has put a serious damper on our culinary adventures. Still, a girl’s gotta eat!

It would be so easy to pick up sandwiches or pho (and, who am I kidding, it might still reach that point before this is all over), but so far we have successfully been holding on to our diet by scaling back to bare basics. This is one of the dishes that has been getting us through this week. It is super easy to make and clean up, and Chris was a little upset that there wasn’t enough for seconds, which means it is tasty. This is also one of the few ways I can tolerate cooked spinach, which I typically hate, but my GI doc really stressed the importance of cooked leafy greens now that salads are (hopefully temporarily) out of my life. Everyone knows spinach is healthy, but it has special benefits for IBD patients because it is high in iron and folate–both of which are common deficiencies with IBD–and it also is a good source of calcium, which is important because many people with IBD cannot digest dairy. Spinach also contains glycoglycerolipids, which are protective against the damage from inflammation in the digestive tract and cancer.

So, ok, fine, I’ll eat spinach as long as it is mixed in with lots of mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and sausage. This is easy and quick enough to make for a super healthy weekend breakfast, but it’s hearty enough to be good for dinner as well.

Good ratio of yummy veggies to yucky spinach.p1000564

Chicken sausage, onions, and garlic cooking over high heat.p1000565

Then add in your mushrooms and tomatoes.p1000567

Then your spinach. p1000569

Make wells and crack eggs into the pan. Pop in the oven.p1000570

Voila. Our egg yolks are cooked pretty solid because we take leftovers for lunch (and half-cooked eggs don’t keep so well) but feel free to cook a little less time if your like your yolks runny.p1000571

Mmm mmm mmm. I can even forgive the spinach!p1000573

One Dish Italian Baked Eggs Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut into large dice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 ounces whole mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 links chicken or pork sausage (with only SCD legal ingredients; or, substitute 1/2 pound plain ground meat of your choice and add in extra basil, oregano, fennel, salt, and pepper)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or equivalent of basil, oregano, and fennel)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chives or other fresh herbs (optional)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Melt butter in oven-safe pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken sausage and stir for about one minute.
  • Add onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Add in mushrooms and tomatoes. Continue sauteing until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are very soft and have released most of their liquid.
  • Add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir. Taste and adjust seasoning. It is ok if it tastes just slightly overseasoned right now because you still have to add in the spinach and eggs.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in baby spinach to wilt. Make a well in the pan for each egg and gently crack into the pan.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, or until egg yolks are done to your liking. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve!